Welcome to my March newsletter.
As Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley for nearly nine years, I have been greatly impressed by the professionalism, resilience and strength of the officers and staff who work across Thames Valley Police.I am delighted to have been able to provide a range of support to our communities. As well as providing services and funding opportunities, and supporting on both regional and national programmes, I have successfully delivered on a range of strategic priorities and key aims within my Police and Crime Plan. This would not have been possible without the support of my office. I would like to offer my thanks to all staff, both past and present, who have provided invaluable support over the last eight years.
The collective ability of both officers and staff has shone throughout the course of the Coronavirus Pandemic. The pandemic has given us all, both personally and professionally, a number of challenges to deal with. From the adjustment to remote working, to enforcing COVID-19 restrictions, the ability of Thames Valley Police officers and staff has remained strong. I have been greatly impressed with how well we have been able to adapt to such changes, and to continue to protect and support our communities. Thames Valley Police has also run the highly efficient distribution of protective equipment to police forces all over the UK.
I have had the pleasure of working with a wide range of people from across the Force and our local authority and criminal justice partners. I have no doubt that Thames Valley has one of the best police forces in the country.
I would like to wish you all the very best, and to my successor following the Police and Crime Commissioner elections in May.Thames Valley Police to pilot new Serious Violence Reduction Orders (SVROs)Thames Valley Police will be one of four forces to trial the introduction of new post-conviction powers to further tackle knife crime and violence.The court orders are designed to ensure convicted offenders receive additional interventions and support to help prevent their reoffending. They will give police enhanced stop and search powers so that those who continue to carry a knife or an offensive weapon are more likely to be caught and put in prison. They will also help protect vulnerable offenders from being drawn into further exploitation by criminal gangs, by acting as a deterrent to any further weapons carrying. Targeted use of stop and search, as part of a wider approach to intervene and support offenders, will help to safeguard those communities most at risk. Read the full story on our websiteRestart and relaunch for Community Speedwatch in 2021Volunteers are on hold currently due to lockdown regulations. As restrictions are lifted, local community groups will be able to resume their speedwatch activities as soon as possible.Beginning with one pilot in Buckinghamshire, the scheme is then expected to be trialled in other locations across Oxfordshire and Berkshire over a six-month period and, if successful, will become the model for all community speedwatch schemes in the Thames Valley.
Matthew Barber, Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, said: “I’m really excited about this new scheme and the additional support that we can provide to volunteers. Cutting speeding across Thames Valley can save lives and a strong community-led speedwatch scheme can make a real difference.
“Not only will the new scheme provide better backing for volunteers, comprehensive training, and new equipment, but it will also feed information directly into the police. Persistent offenders and hotspot locations can then be followed up for police enforcement. Together we can make our streets safer.”Read the full story on our websiteSearch & Rescue teams awarded £20,000 of fundingThe Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley has awarded £20,000 of exceptional funding to three Lowland Search & Rescue Teams and two Search Dog Teams across the Thames Valley.Anthony Stansfeld, Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, said: “I am delighted to have been able to award this funding to five organisations who provide regular assistance to Thames Valley Police in the search of vulnerable, missing persons.“The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has meant that some organisations are finding it increasingly difficult to secure funding. I am therefore delighted to be able to award this exceptional funding to help support these organisations and, in turn, keep our communities safe.”Read the full story on our websiteFunding boost helps improve police communication with autistic peopleThe Police Property Act Fund has supported Autism Berkshire with £5,000 of funding to re-launch the Berkshire Autism Alert Card.Working collaboratively with Autism Berkshire, Thames Valley Police has helped to develop a new feature in which those who sign up for a recently re-launched Berkshire Autism Alert Card, can choose voluntarily to share their details with police.The project was funded with a £5,000 grant from the Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner’s Property Act Fund. The Police Property Act Fund is created from money recovered by the police and the proceeds from the sale of items that cannot be returned to identified owners, including seizures from criminals.Read the full story on our websiteAdditional £735,000 to tackle serious violence across the Thames ValleyAn additional £735,000 of funding is available to Thames Valley Police to pay for surge activity in serious violence hotspots across the force area over the next financial year.Thames Valley Police will receive a share of this latest funding which it will use to continue the delivery of Operation RASURE, the force’s response to violent and knife-enable crime.First launched in April 2020, Operation RASURE is delivering intelligence-led enforcement and problem-solving activity across the whole force area to drive down violent crime and keep communities safe. This includes specialist operations targeting those individuals suspected of violent crime and particularly knife offences, providing additional high-visibility patrols in hotspot areas, the targeted use of stop and search powers and the seizure of weapons and drugs.Read the full story on our websiteLatest police officer recruitment figuresThe latest figures from the Home Office show that Thames Valley has exceed its recruitment targets for 2020/21.Anthony Stansfeld said: “The latest figures from the Home Office [28 January] show that we have exceeded our recruitment targets for 2020/21, and are well placed to meet our 2021/22 recruitment target. “By the end of March 2021, we were due to have recruited an additional 183 police officers for the Thames Valley. However, by the end of December 2020, we had exceeded this target by 75 officers (a total of 258 officers recruited). These figures show how committed we are to delivering the Government’s police officer uplift programme.”Read the full story on our websitePolice & Crime Commissioner Elections 2021The election of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Thames Valley will take place on Thursday 6 May 2021.A dedicated webpage has been published, providing details on the upcoming election, including information:About the role of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC)Key election datesKey information for candidates and votersUseful linksFurther updates on the PCC elections will be published as it becomes available.Find out more about the PCC ElectionsVictims FirstVictims First, managed by the Office of the PCC, is dedicated to making sure that all victims of crime receive the support they need to cope and recover from the impact of their crime. It provides free emotional and practical support to all victims and witnesses of crime across the Thames Valley as well as family members of victims.
If you have experienced a crime or abuse, please contact Victims First for support. Support is available regardless of when the crime took place or whether or not the crime has been reported to the police.Visit the Victims First websiteMedia coverageBoth the Police and Crime Commissioner and Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley have been involved in a number of media items over the last few months.Below is a selection of media items that both the PCC and Deputy PCC have featured in:New recruits join Thames Valley Police after uni courseThames Valley Police urging victims of sexual violence and abuse to use support services availableExtra £1.1m funding for Thames Valley Police will help tackle serious violence in Milton KeynesPCC awards £20,000 to help Search and Rescue teamsDeputy PCC on Dog Thefts (from 2:20:00)Thames Valley Police to pilot new orders to tackle knife crimeYOUR INFORMATION
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